Nokia and China Unicom are to deploy a cloud-native core network based on Nokia AirGile technology in seven Chinese provinces.
The network will provide new agility which will enable the delivery of high-quality voice services, and lay the foundations for the future evolution to 5G.
The deployment of the Nokia cloud-native core network will enable China Unicom to deliver Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and Voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) capabilities from a single platform, as well as new services such as 'one-number, multi-devices'. As a result subscribers will experience high definition voice calling, faster call set-up and seamless connectivity as they move between China Unicom's 4G network and Wi-Fi access points, and receive calls on multiple connected devices.
Nokia will deploy its technology in seven provinces in China - Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Hainan, Yunnan, Gansu and Hunan. These regions include major industrial and tourist hubs. The network will include Nokia AirGile cloud-native core technologies as well as the Nokia AirFrame data centre, NetAct, CloudBand and Session Border Controller. Nokia will also act as a product and systems integrator.
A cloud-native core network will also offer operators such as China Unicom the flexibility, responsiveness and adaptability required to deliver high-performance, ultra-reliability and low latency-required by massive IoT and 5G. By deploying a cloud-native core now, Nokia and China Unicom are laying the foundations for this future network evolution.
In 2017 Nokia and China Unicom began interoperability with other vendors' equipment, enabling China Unicom to be the first operator to deploy a three-layer decoupled network architecture using network functions virtualisation to decouple hardware and software and ensure flexibility allowing each network layer to evolve independently.
Gao Bo, head of the China Unicom customer business team at Nokia Shanghai Bell said: "Nokia has the breadth of technology and services expertise to provide an end-to-end cloud native core for China Unicom. The network will deliver new capabilities and allow China Unicom to accelerate the launch of new services, while new agility will help enable a smooth transition toward 5G in the future."